Youth Livestock Program
The 4-H Youth Livestock Program is the largest animal science project area enabling youth to develop their interest in beef cattle, sheep, meat goats, and swine in their 4-H projects. Youth learn about selection, care, and feeding of livestock, animal health, and importance of good record keeping. Emphasis for these projects continues to be focused on life skill development.
This program offers competitions such as livestock judging and stockmen's contests as well as livestock shows at the county, district, and state levels.
- Event Schedule
- State Fair of Virginia Youth Livestock Shows
- Clinics & Camps
- Conventions & Other Events
- Record Books
2023 Save the Dates:
2/24 – 2/25 Block and Bridle Youth Livestock Weekend – Alphin Stuart Livestock Arena, Virginia Tech
- Stockman’s Contest - Friday
- Livestock Judging Contest - Saturday
Entry deadline Friday 2/10.
Enter at: https://tinyurl.com/BnBLivestock2023
3/18 MC Stockman’s Challenge Livestock Judging Contest - Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg VA
3/29 State 4H/FFA Skillathon Contest - Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg VA
4/12-4/16 Beef Expo/Jr Beef Roundup - Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg VA
4/27 State 4-H/FFA Poultry Evaluation Contest and Youth Poultry Convention - Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg VA
4/28 State 4-H/FFA Dairy Skillathon – Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg VA
Registration Deadline: 4/21/23
A skillathon contest is a comprehensive test of livestock knowledge including identification classes of meats, feeds, equipment and breeds; evaluation classes of meats, hay, sheep, swine, and beef; a knowledge-based quiz; and an applied team problem.
- State Skillathon Contest
- Block & Bridle Skillathon Contest
- State Fair of Virginia Skill-a-thons
- Other Extension Sponsored Stockmen's Contests
Livestock judging contests consist of market and breeding animals, including beef, meat goats, sheep, and swine. Participants rank the animals in the classes, answer questions on chosen classes, and deliver sets of oral reasons from memory.
- State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest
- Block & Bridle Livestock Judging Contest
- Other Extension Sponsored Livestock Judging Contests
Meats judging contests consist of retail meat identification and judging of retail meat cuts and carcasses. Retail meat identification consists of identifying the species, primal cut, retail cut and cookery method. Judging requires the participants to rank the meat in the classes, answer questions on chosen classes, and deliver sets of oral reasons from memory.
Youth Poultry Judging offers youth the ability to rank classes of production hens and market broilers, and give oral reasons from memory on one or two of the classes. They grade ready-to-cook broiler carcasses, turkey carcasses, candled eggs, broken-out eggs and exterior eggs. They are also asked to identify mixed broiler parts.
- State 4-H & State FFA Poultry Judging Contest (held in conjunction with the Youth Poultry Convention)
The youth cattle working contest develops youth skills in animal management and handling. Working as a team, youth efficiently process three stocker calves utilizing Beef Quality Assurance guidelines. Regional competitions are held in the spring throughout the state; the top teams from each region then compete at the State Youth Cattle Working Contest held in conjunction with the Junior Beef Roundup.
The Livestock Quiz Bowl is a competition that tests the knowledge youth possess regarding beef, sheep, swine, and meat goat topics. Teams compete in a single elimination format and use a buzzer to signify that they would like to attempt to answer a question. Oral answers are given to questions posed by a moderator. Each match has an individual, team and toss-up question round.
Junior Beef Roundup (Virginia Beef Expo)
The Junior Beef Roundup is held in conjunction with the Virginia Beef Expo. This event is typically held the third weekend in April and features a variety of contests and activities for youth in the Commonwealth. In addition to youth breed shows, commercial heifer, and prospect steer shows, the Junior Beef Roundup will host the State Stockmen's Contest, State Beef Ambassador Contest, and State Youth Cattle Working Contest.
State Fair of Virginia
A culminating event for youth livestock projects, this event allows youth to exhibit their cattle, sheep, meat goats, and swine and compete in showmanship.
Date: Wednesday, September 27 – Sunday, October 1, 2023
Location: The Meadow Event Park - Doswell, VA
Contact: Katherine Carter- (540) 231-2257 Scott Greiner- (540) 231-9159
Schedule: (coming soon)
Additional information: State Fair of Virginia official web site
- 2023 Rules and updates coming soon
4-H Dog Projects Educational Clinic
A day of learning about 4-H dog project opportunities including clubs, competitive events, shows, and more.
- Saturday March 11, 2023
- Alphin Stuart Livestock Arena, Virginia Tech
- See flyer for more information
- Entry deadline Friday 3/3
- Enter at: https://tinyurl.com/4hdogclinic23
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a national multi-species quality assurance program for youth ages 8 to 21. An in-person YQCA workshop requires complete attendance. YQCA is the result of a collaborative effort between states that have previously offered multi-species youth livestock quality assurance programs, the National Pork Board’s Youth PQA Plus program and representatives from other national livestock groups. YQCA is designed as an annual education and certification program focused on food safety, animal well-being and character awareness for youth ages 8 to 21 producing and/or showing pigs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, market rabbits, and poultry. The program has been designed by extension specialists and national livestock program managers to ensure it is accurate, current and relevant to the needs of the animal industry and shows and is appropriate for youth.
Youth Poultry Convention
The Youth Poultry Convention offers both competition and education for those attending. Youth rank classes of production hens and give oral reasons from memory on one of the classes. They grade ready-to-cook broiler carcasses, turkey carcasses, candled eggs, broken-out eggs and exterior eggs. They are also asked to identify mixed broiler parts. The competitions are followed by fun and educational events including a youth poultry carnival for juniors and job shadowing and production tours for seniors. In 2016, youth educational tracks were available to all participants featuring a Live Production Track, Post-Production Track, Consumer Advocacy Track, and a Food Challenge Track. more>>
- Meat Goats
- Carcass Information
- Meats Judging
- Livestock Judging
- Stockmen's Contest
- Quiz Bowl
- 4-H Member Record Book - Novice
- 4-H Member Record Book - Experienced Junior
- 4-H Member Record Book - Experienced Senior
Beef Heifer Project
- Virginia 4-H Beef Heifer Project Junior Record Book
- Virginia 4-H Beef Heifer Project Senior Record Book
Market Beef Project
- Virginia 4-H Market Beef Project Junior Record Book
- Virginia 4-H Market Beef Project Senior Record Book
Market Goat Project
- Virginia 4-H Market Goat Project Junior Record Book
- Virginia 4-H Market Goat Project Senior Record Book
Market Hog Project
- Virginia 4-H Market Hog Project Junior Record Book
- Virginia 4-H Market Hog Project Senior Record Book
Market Lamb Project
- Virginia 4-H Market Lamb Project Junior Record Book
- Virginia 4-H Market Lamb Project Senior Record Book
Sheep Flock Project
Extension Youth Animal Science Specialist
Extension Program Associate- Youth Animal Science
Extension Program Associate-Youth Animal Science
Virginia 4-H Livestock Programs Endowment
The Virginia 4-H Foundation is spearheading the advancement of the Virginia 4-H Youth Livestock Programs Endowment. 4-H livestock programming is funded through a combination of private gifts, endowment income, gifts in kind, and participant fees.